A stolen base and two ruptured discs led Ted Cowan to the "Palace," his nickname for Bikram Yoga at Brick Canvas. Eight years ago, Ted was playing softball and slid into third. Ultimately he ended up scoring when the batter hit a ground ball, but he also ended up with two ruptured discs and intense back pain.
"My doctor told me the discs should heal by themselves but that I needed to do physical therapy," Ted recalls. "However, insurance only covered 12 visits, and my therapist told me I needed more than that. She suggested I try Bikram Yoga, so I did."
The first time he walked into a studio, Ted was intimidated; he was born and raised in Alaska, so the heat was daunting. But he was also committed. "Remember, my back was hurting," he points out, "and I was looking for help for my back. I was willing to endure anything if it would help my pain."
And it did! Thanks to Bikram Yoga, Ted's back pain is gone, he can touch his palms to the floor, and he is a "lifer."
"Bikram Yoga calms the mind and engages the body," explains Ted. "It's sort of like a moving meditation. You start off with breathing exercises that calm the mind and then do poses that engage the body. You have to concentrate, and concentrating is not easy to do when you're moving from one pose to another. But I look at my buddies who are my age, in their fifties, and they're dying on the vine. I feel strong and alive and healthy, and I know that's the result of Bikram."
Ted had practiced at other studios before visiting Bikram Yoga at Thanksgiving Point. He signed up for a 30 Day Challenge his first day at the studio, and then finished the challenge in 23 days. "I had to do eight doubles, " he explains. "My brother was ill and I ended up leaving town to visit him before my 30 days was up, so I had to do those doubles to finish the challenge."
Ted has also signed up for-and completed-the 60 Day Challenge and the recent 5X5 PLUS Challenge. He's eyeing the Slow and Steady Wins the Race Challenge next, although he says he'll do much more than that. "I practice six days a week, Monday through Saturday," he says. "I'm committed to do that--Bikram gives me a well-being I've never had before."
And Ted is as committed to Joanne and the studio as he is to the practice. "I've been to all the studios along the Wasatch Front, as well as studios in several cities around the country," he says. "The Palace is different-and not just because of the physical appearance. No other Bikram studio has anything like Joanne."
A computer science instructor at Weber University, Ted notes that he knows a few things about teaching, and Joanne is an amazing teacher. "She learns who her students are, she knows things about them, she welcomes them every time, and makes a big deal about their accomplishments. Joanne embodies what Namaste is all about."
Ironically, Joanne feels the same way about Ted! "He's the brightest light that comes into our studio," she says. "He truly lives the idea of Namaste, honoring and serving everyone in the studio. We couldn't be more happy to have him here!"